We have been back in England now for just over two months. Its been really good. The holiday (vacation) cottage we are staying in is lovely, there is a field adjoining it so we have a beautiful country view. The sad thing is that the lockdown started again and so we didn’t get to see as many friends as we were hoping to.
There was so much we had to get done when we arrived (after our two week quarantine). A trip to Wales to prove that I can speak English. Our big caravan (camper) had to be brought back from the storage yard, cleaned and sold. A trip to Exeter to have a photo taken and my fingerprints uploaded and my Citizenship Papers submitted. Two sheds at Pete’s parents house had to be sorted through, and some bits and pieces in their roof, to decide what we are keeping and what we are throwing out or selling. God sent some rats and mice into the sheds so some things had to go to the dump, making the process easier for us.
Be exalted, God, above heaven! May Your glory be over all the earth!
Then the buying started. Boots, shoes, jeans, coats… shirts and jeans for Pete, some dresses for me. Due to lockdown in Israel, and living remotely, going to buy clothes is not quite as easy as here in the UK. Ebay is not going to be at our fingertips, or next day deliver from Amazon prime. I am really looking forwards to it to be honest.
And Pete has had to step into a very foreign role for him. Making contact with people to share what we are going to be doing at HaYovel, to share about the restoration of the land and to ask for people to support us in this work we are going to be doing. The initial plan was to meet up with people, but as lockdown started that wasn’t going to work, so we finally relented and started Zooming. It was a bit scary at the start, but he is becoming a natural now, so that is amazing.
But as for me, I will sing of your strength; in the morning I will sing aloud of your grace. For you are a fortress, a refuge when I am in trouble.
It has really been such a blessed time for us. Pete decided after a few weeks that he couldn’t keep his business going. He wants to be able to concentrate on what God is calling him to do in Israel, not worry about money and wages. So its been great, he has been able to just be at home most of the time, having our meals together and parenting the children together.
But sometimes when we stop and think about what is going on in the world right now, and that we are packing up to go to Israel in all this uncertainty and travel restrictions, a bit of doubt creeps in. I have stopped watching and listening to anything in the media, because I find that to keep my faith super strong I need to look up and not out, and it doesn’t always take much to knock me from my perch. But I’ve been very encouraged by Abba. I’m reading through Jeremiah right now, and most days there are lots of things that jump out at me. One morning before reading the Bible I asked Abba whether this was all going to be possible. Then I got this word…
Then He says “Look, I am YHVH, the God of every living creature; IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME?
Well, there you go. We are packing and getting ready, regardless of what is going on around us. We will trust in the Lord our strength. At the time of writing (not necessarily the posting of it) it is three weeks until we fly out.
Something that has really struck me too in Jeremiah is all the promises Abba makes to Israel. Time after time he says that He will bring them back to Him and to their land. It’s so beautiful to read it. To know that everything that is happening now are the birth pangs of the redemption. Full redemption will only happen when Messiah comes, but we can be the Elijah’s and prepare the way. How exciting.
I will surely gather My people from all the lands to which I have banished them in My furious anger and great wrath, and I will return them to this place and make them dwell in safety. They will be My people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, so that they will always fear Me for their own good and for the good of their children after them.
I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never turn away from doing good to them, and I will put My fear in their hearts, so that they will never turn away from Me. Yes, I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul.
It’s so exciting seeing it happen, to see how the land has and is responding to the Jewish people coming back, planting vines and olive groves, making honey, pottery, jewellery, and farmers bringing flocks of livestock back to the mountains of Samaria and Judea. And also to see how Abba has called non-Jews who love Him and His people to work alongside them and support them in their work. What a great God we serve, who keeps all his amazing promises.
And so as we all, as God’s children, ride out the storm, remember who He is, and what He can do. Psalm 46, I think, sums it up very well. Shalom!
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in times of trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth is transformed
and the mountains are toppled
into the depths of the seas,
though their waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake in the surge.
There is a river whose streams delight the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her; she will not be moved.
God will help her when morning dawns.
Nations rage, kingdoms crumble;
the earth melts when He lifts His voice.
The LORD of Hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come, see the works of the LORD,
who brings devastation upon the earth.
He makes wars to cease throughout the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the shields in the fire.
“Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted over the earth.”
The LORD of Hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(A note about the photos. They was taken by a dear friend of mine who lives in Saudi. She went on a camping trip into the Arabian desert, and there took some photos of Mount Sinai. How amazing it would have been to be standing there at the base of that mountain, and seeing God's Glory manifested.)